Linguistics Instruction for Japanese Junior High School Students

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Mika Igarashi, The University of Tokyo/JSPS

Reference Data:

Igarashi, M. (2016). Linguistics instruction for Japanese junior high school students. In P. Clements, A. Krause, & H. Brown (Eds.), Focus on the learner. Tokyo: JALT.

There have been some attempts to teach linguistics to elementary and junior high school (JHS) students. However, little has been empirically investigated about how such teaching influences these students. This study aimed to investigate the effects of linguistics instruction on the language learning of 22 Japanese JHS students. Participants attended linguistics classes that dealt with syntactic and morphological rules in Japanese and English. Four variables were measured: metalinguistic ability, self-efficacy in language learning, beliefs about language learning, and language attitudes. Participants answered preinstruction questionnaires to evaluate their self-efficacy, beliefs, and language attitudes and took pre- and posttests of metalinguistic ability. Two months after the last class, delayed questionnaires were completed. The results revealed that post test metalinguistic ability scores were significantly higher than pretest scores. Also, positive responses regarding language attitudes showed a significant increase. These findings suggest that linguistics instruction can have a positive effect on language learning.